Key requirements for outstanding customer service
Our customers are key to XSservice. We try to provide them with the best service one could possibly get in the world of education. Lots of complaints about ELO providers that are not able to answers questions, or much too late, are one of the primary reasons we started XSservice and PROFIJT. We were asked by our customers to start building a top service providing company! Hence our mission: we will proof that excellent service can be offered to schools and teachers in Holland and abroad! “No” or “not possible” are not the answers to questions of customers! Our customers are important to us, because through them we exist.
The foundation for outstanding customer service is excellent communication and cooperation. The dialogue between our customers and XSservice must include agreements about the following topics:
1. Clear expectations
XSservice as a top provider of service is responsible for setting clear guidelines about what customers can reasonably expect. Some IT organizations implement Service Level Agreements (SLAs) defining what customers can expect from them. Even without formal SLAs, our customer service can be exceptional if we have clarified to our customers what expectations are reasonable. A customer also must communicate expectations regarding timeline and quality in advance of their request. Last minute requests are typically due to a lack of planning on the part of the customer. But we should take that into account as well. And we do! Expecting XSservice to ‘hijack’ priorities to meet unreasonable needs is inappropriate, and should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with involvement of the CEO. At no time should this become the norm, or the customer will become ‘trained’ to expect the unrealistic.
2. Customer Responsibilities
To meet expectations, XSservice is responsible for clarifying what is needed from the customer, and also clarifying service providing processes and timelines necessary to meet quality requirements of customers. The phrase “Help me, help you” from the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’ applies here.
In order to provide the best customer service in the world of education, XSservice needs their customers to cooperate by allowing enough lead time and providing information and materials necessary to fulfill customer requests. It is a communication responsibility of XSservice to let the customer know “what I need from you in order to meet your request is ….” It’s essential to have an understanding with customers about realistic timelines and quality expectations. The people of XSservice find themselves constantly working on customer ’emergencies’, and must clarify to customers the strain this causes to them. Constant emergencies diminish the provider’s ability to give good service to all customers, and create a stressful working environment.
3. Negotiated Priorities
While most customer priorities are ‘urgent – must have right away’, this is counterproductive to any process. A clear communication between customers and XSservice is essential. With our top customer service, most customers believe we should intuitively understand priorities because we build solutions for the educational market. This is false! A discussion about priorities must be part of the expectation-setting talk with the customer when questions and requests are being communicated!
All in all, we try to be the best service provider in the market of education. And our customers are telling us that as well!
We are really focussed on our customers and we strive to solve all their requests in time. We take our customers very seriously. We also solve problems and questions through our Customer Portal in a very reasonable amount of time.
But as a CEO of XSservice, I always try to further improve our customer services. And I am focussed on trying even harder to meet all the requests faster. ‘Underpromise and overdeliver’ is the key to superb customer service. Thanks to all our customers for using PROFIJT! We will always help you out!